Like the power

Submitted into Contest #58 in response to: Write a story about someone feeling powerless.... view prompt


Creative Nonfiction Funny Drama

It was starting again. They were at it again. More blame, more accusations, more conclusions. More and more. And once again, they weren’t listening, only talking. That was all they ever did. Talk. Always only their point of view, which was always not right, too. If only they could listen to me. If only they could let me explain, if only.

I sit down silently and take it all.


"Why do we keep on saying this all the time? Why do you never listen? Why do you never learn? You are so stubborn!”

I listen. It’s literally all I do. It’s all you allow me to. Listen. I’m not stubborn. I have learnt. I have learnt, but not what you are trying to teach me. No, I learn other things. I learn that my voice will always be subdued, I learn that my opinion will never matter.

“We give you everything. We are doing our part, why can’t you do yours?”

Is my part supposed to be to just listen and never talk. Because if that's it, then I'm doing a damn good job

“Why do you always insist on doing what you want to do? We tell you the things that are right, but you still go ahead to do what you want to do”

No, I don’t! I do not do what I want to do. I do what you want me to do. Always! Why won’t you listen to me? I have a side to this too!

“You are so ungrateful. We give you everything and this is how you repay us?”

Will you please let me talk? Can I, please, just explain?!

“You know, I am tired of this arrogant behavior of yours! That stubborn tilt of your head, that angry expression on your face. Why do you have that when we are talking sense into you”

What? I’m supposed to smile when you scold me? I’m supposed to be happy when you keep saying the same things repeatedly? I’m supposed to be happy when you kill my voice?

“So you did something bad, but we’re at fault for saying something about it?”

No, that is not what I meant at all. Will you just let me talk?

“What? Why are you looking at me like that? You think I don’t know what is going on in your head? I was your age once, you know? I know all you are thinking.”

Actually, you don’t. You see, that’s the problem, you don’t know what is going on in my head. You know nothing. All you know is what you think you know. But the real thing? What I really feel? You know nothing of it. And you don’t care.

“Oh, you can wear that expression all you want, but I know. I know exactly what is going on inside you head right now”

No, you do not. But, sure, go ahead and assume. It's what you do best.

“And I don’t care….”

Yeah, what else is new?

“You will go and clean that kitchen up right now! And, just so you know, I will keep on saying it even if you don’t hear it”

Oh, I hear it all right. And, yes, you’ll keep on saying…….


I walk the hall down to my room. I couldn’t get there fast enough. I had to get away from their judging eyes and disapproving stares. I had done it again. I had somehow managed to disappoint them again.

Even though this time, I had been careful. I had made sure everything was in order. I had crossed every t’s and dotted every I’s. But, somehow, somehow, I had fallen short of their praise. Again. I opened up my laptop that was on my bed. As soon as it booted on, I went straight to Microsoft Word. Clicked ‘Blank Document’. I needed to bleed.

I know more than to expect their praise now. I am too experienced, too old and too broken to expect that. So, no, I wasn’t expecting their praise. But I sure as hell tried my best not to hear any complaints. I tried, really, I did. But I guess it wasn’t enough. It never is. I’m just, I am so tired. I just want them to see me more than the failure that they see when they look at me. I have done good things. I have done things so perfectly; I see it in their eyes, how perfect. So why won’t they something about that? Why wouldn’t they, for once, commend me on those? Why is it when I make a slip, a tiny slip, why is it only then they talk? Why is it only then they reproach me? I am so tired. I am so tired of being the perfect daughter. No, no, I’m not even that. I’m just trying. I am not even the perfect daughter. I am just trying. But, God, I am so tired.

I push my laptop away. I couldn’t write anymore. Sometimes, it got to this stage, where everything drains out of me and I have nothing left in me to write. All I could do next was feel. And I feel it all. The pain; of my parents seeing me only as a failure. The anger; why couldn’t they just let me talk?! The sadness; this is how it’s always going to be. The frustration; I want to talk! I want to say my side of the story! I have an opinion too! All the conclusions you drew are wrong! None of them is right! You think I’m angry because you scold me? No, I’m angry that you won’t let me talk. You think I think you talk too much? No, I just think I don’t talk at all. You think I’m mad because you yell? No, I’m mad because I don’t yell. You think. You say. And you don’t care what I think or say. I am so tired. I bury my face in the crook on my elbows, lay them on my knees. I knew the tears were coming. My throat was closing up, and I could feel the wetness in my eyes. The lights went off. Great. It sure as hell fit my mood. I bawl my eyes out.


I don’t know how much time had passed, but I finally lifted my head up. It felt everything happened yesterday, or maybe last week. But I knew it was just 45 minutes ago. Time was like that when you feel crappy. I look around me. The room was dark. I couldn’t see anything. I tried searching blindly for my phone. I couldn’t find it. Everywhere was pitch black. I felt the closeness in my throat. I felt the lump rising again. I was about to cry. I am so helpless! I can’t say what’s on my mind to my parents. I can’t say anything to them, so all I do is write them. Poetry, articles, stories. That is all I do, write! I hide behind my pen like a coward! I write about how I would not be kept in box; I write about how one’s greatest gift to one’s self was to know one’s self and be ready to defend it. I write! I write, and I write! But I never do something about it. I never talk about what I feel with words. Well, at least not with spoken words. And now I can’t even find my damn phone!

I hear my Dad tell my Mom that he had to go and help get the power back up. Well, I guess that gives more time to stay in here. I look around my room. Nothing. Utter darkness. Silence. I raise my hands up in front of me. I couldn’t see them. I couldn’t even see myself! I have always been a dreamer. I go into my imaginations, (la la land, if you will) a lot. See, I don’t really like my actual world that much. If we’re being honest, nobody really does. So, I disappear. For a while, I disappear. I look around my room. At the utter darkness. This is perfect.

This time around, I’m around 24, 25 years. Those are my favorite years. I had finally gotten the courage to speak up. I had told my parents all that I felt, all they did to hurt me, all I wanted to say. I had finally said it all. And at this time, they were still mad at me. Well, technically, my Dad was still mad at me. My Mom had forgiven me. Her words, not mine. Because now I was a badass. I had finally said all that was in my mind; I was finally free of those choking thoughts, and my confidence had boosted up a notch. So, when my Mom had come to my condo (oh, yeah, I had a condo now) and told me she was ready to forgive me for my outburst at her and Dad six months ago; I had told her I wasn’t looking for her apology (yes; I was that brazen!), that all I wanted was her understanding. My Mom had stormed out that day, steaming angry. And I had thought for sure, she was never going to forgive me now. But she did. One month later, she called me to meet her in a café. I had gladly accepted because, frankly; I had missed my Mom. I had missed her so much I was ready to abandon my beliefs and newly found confidence. But she had spoken first, she had said how she didn’t approve of my methods, but she understood my points. I had been overwhelmed. A part of me had healed. We had hugged, cried, laughed, and we had not wanted to part ways, but she had had to go back home to Dad. And through her, I and my Dad had begun talking. Tentatively. My Dad, always one-syllabic. But we had talked. About things in general, but never about what I said 7 months ago. I know I should push for more, but I just missed my Dad so much. I was willing to settle. And although there wasn’t the understanding I wanted, but there was an understanding. He knew my morals, and he didn’t try to take them from me. That was more than enough for me. My condo was in the woods. There was peace and quiet, and I had an ante-room that looked out down a path that lead into deeper forest. Every time I sat down in my recliner, in my ante-room, the peace I always felt, like something I had never felt before. I was writing more. I played my guitar more. I took pictures more. When I wake up in the morning, I walk barefoot to my kitchen. I make coffee, go outside, wave to my friendly neighbors, and even to mean Nancy. (You always have to have a bad one, right?) The birds chirp, the breeze blow gently. I close my eyes, lean my head backward slightly, and take it all in. And then I go inside, my creative juices already flowing. I play music (probably some Taylor Swift. I love her), I go to my laptop on my kitchen counter. I open it, write some poetry. If not poetry, I go out the back, take some pictures, if not pictures, I play my guitar. And if not any of those, I dance.


The power comes back on. Light floods my room. I open my eyes; my room comes into focus. Reality. I sigh. I close my eyes (I have to finish it).

Once in a while, my friends come to visit me. And by visit, I mean, they come to drag me to a party that is for sure going to be ‘the loudest of the year’ (of course, they say that about all parties), they ramble on about how I ‘never go out’. I protest. A lot of eye-rolls and empty threats later, we go out and have the ‘wildest’ night.

I open my eyes. Yeah, that is the perfect life. I look up at the fluorescent light.

When the power went out, I felt helpless. I was already feeling frustrated that I couldn’t do anything about my predicament, and then the power had gone out and I couldn’t find my phone. So, yeah, I had felt utterly helpless. But then I had found the reprieve I needed from the darkness. I stood up, squared my shoulders. Yeah, I was out for a while. Went from silent to bleeding. From bleeding to feeling. From feeling to helplessness. And from helplessness to imagination. Where I finally found peace.

And now, like the power, I’m back on.

September 09, 2020 10:05

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Testimony Odey
14:31 Sep 18, 2020

OMg!!!!!😱😱😱 This is soooo good!!!! It was so vivid and I love the imagination part. It's just so alluring. And beautiful. Keep it up!💛✨


Moji Sola
11:55 Sep 19, 2020

Thank you so much! It means a lot❤️


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Moji Sola
11:55 Sep 19, 2020

Thank you so much! It means a lot❤️


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